Walk in the High Sheriffs footsteps – Wherwell
Wherwell is one of Test Valleys most picturesque villages, situated on the banks of The River Test, with some of the finest timber framed thatched cottages in the country. Wherwell has a varied history and was first mentioned in the will of King Edred (946-955AD). It was during this period that saw the building of Wherwell Abbey, which can be found in the grounds of what is now the Priory.
The River Test meanders through the Village and Chilbolton Cow Common, which separates Wherwell from Chilbolton. The Common, is a Site of Special Scientific Interests and over 100 different plants and grasses have been identified it’s just a short distance from the start or you can visit the area on your return.
The walk starts at New Barn Lane signposted the Test Way. Follow the track as it ascends up to Harewood Forest, passing New Barn on your left, (it can be a little muddy here) as the path skirts round Upping Copse on your left, continue through the woods taking the path to your left. Follow the path on and round to a trackway and turn left where the landscape opens out with grass fields in front of you.
Continue on past the Keepers Cottage on your left following the line of the wood round to the point, until you reach the restricted byway, where the power lines cross.
Turn right along the restricted byway, walking under the power lines, with the golf course on your left, until you reach the footpath on the left. Turn down this path, with shrubs on each side, until your reach the road. Take care as you cross the road in to the village of Goodworth Clatford. Continue along the road through this lovely quiet village, keeping to the left as the road starts to bend a little. A trackway can be seen on the left, turn left into the track and at the gate turn right at the bridlegate with the River Anton on your right.
From this point the route meanders along a grass and earth path, with views to the right across the River Anton.
At the main A3057 road, go through the field gate, please close this after you. Take care as you cross over the road to the footpath ahead of you, through a gate with a steep climb up the hill bearing to your right as you climb with fantastic views all around you. At the top follow the fence line on your left to the gate and continue on along a narrow earth path until the path opens out at the top, take the wide grass path to your right at the top and you will have further views across the valley.
At this point follow the grass path on the left all the way down, until you see the remains of the old railway bridge. Continue on round the field edge and after a short section, turn, sharp right, down some steps to the road. Turn left and as you walk along the road you will pass the longest thatched building in Hampshire. Continue on until you reach a bridleway on the right, this will take you to Chilbolton Common, which is well worth a look. The local pub is worth a visit.
- Duration 2.5 hours
- Length 6 miles
- Start point centre of village
- Grid Ref SU 392 - 412
- OS map Explorer 131
- Public transport Stagecoach in Hampshire No 25 irregular
- Download route map 273kb pdf